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Clinton's Home-Court Edge

In Sunday's paper, The Post's Alec MacGillis took a must-see look at the Clinton campaign's argument that the senator's success in upstate New York sets her up for success in swing states. As a sidebar, the latest data from the state show some advantages, but no clear path back to the White House for the former First Lady.

The latest Quinnipiac University polling (of registered voters in the Empire State) suggests that despite high approval ratings outside of New York City, Clinton would face a formidable opponent in either Giuliani or McCain in those areas. Less well known candidates Thompson and Romney lag further behind the New York's junior senator in all regions of the state.

Thompson and Romney also trail Obama and Edwards in the poll, but against Giuliani and McCain, Clinton has bigger leads Upstate than either of her two key competitors for the Democratic nomination.

Q: If the 2008 election for President were being held today, and the candidates were ... for whom would you vote?

Hillary Clinton's margin against: 
                Statewide   Upstate   NYC   Suburbs
Rudy Giuliani      +11        -3      +37     -3
John McCain        +15        +3      +44      0
Fred Thompson      +28       +16      +49    +18
Mitt Romney        +29       +14      +54    +19
Barack Obama's margin against:
                Statewide   Upstate   NYC   Suburbs
Rudy Giuliani        0       -18      +29    -12
John McCain         +8        -9      +38     -5
Fred Thompson      +24       +14      +43    +14
Mitt Romney        +26        +9      +49    +19
John Edwards's margin against:
                Statewide   Upstate   NYC   Suburbs
Rudy Giuliani       +7       -14      +21    -11
John McCain        +11        -4      +34     -2
Fred Thompson      +27       +16      +46    +19
Mitt Romney        +33       +20      +53    +25

SOURCE: Quinnipiac University Poll conducted by telephone Sept. 24-30 among 1,504 randomly selected New York State registered voters.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  October 25, 2007; 12:10 PM ET
Categories:  Polls  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: On the Road in Virginia
Next: Virginia Goes to the Polls, BTN Takes to the Airwaves


Those polls don't mean a thing. What matters is the resuls come election time.

I don't mind having a woman president. But I do want to elect someone that is competent. Hillary Clinton has been a lousy senator. She has not acheived any major successes for the American people as senator.

She has however managed to help send our troops to Iraq. She has the blood of our troops on her hands.

Hillary Clinton has also managed to get rich from filling her pockets with the money of special interest groups and lobbyists.

Plus, how can she run this country if she can not teach her husband how to keep his zipper up?

Posted by: AndreaT1 | October 26, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

In American politics you usually don't end up voting for who you like the lost, you vote for whom you dislike the least.

Posted by: John Ryan | October 27, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Rodham Clinton lleva una importante delantera porcentual en la carrera hacia la Casa Blanca. Dado el respaldo de la poblacion Hispana en USA, es que escribo este comentario en Español y para que esa mayoría la siga respaldando.TV

Posted by: TonyVilleda | October 29, 2007 4:32 AM | Report abuse

Excuse mi mal espanol, pero piensas que HRC tiene una ventaja entre los hispanos? No lo veo.

Posted by: Viejita del oeste | October 30, 2007 12:29 AM | Report abuse

I've seen statistics about Clinton's 60 percent approval rating in NY state for a week on the front of your political section. Why is the washington post acting like part of Clintons add campaign?

Posted by: MAS | October 30, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

It is far too early to predict who will win. When election time does come around, I think we will all be very surprised at the results. As far as Clinton goes, correct me if I'm wrong, but I am not so sure that the American people want more government imposed on their lives. Sure, a little government is good, but Hil's numbers for tax increases are far too high for me. I don't want her telling me how to spend my money and forcing me to pay for other people's health insurance. I plan to open my own business soon and her policies are sure to make that venture near impossible for me. I'm also not very enthusiastic for a candidate who receives thousands of dollars from Asian dishwashers in the slums of New York (the very people who can't afford health insurance). I say someone hold her accountable for her campaign fund violations and give those people their money back.

Posted by: Melissa | October 30, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

There is a very important question in this election campaign (Posted by: MAS | October 30, 2007 08:52 AM): " Why is the washington post acting like part of Clintons add campaign?" I've asked it many times here in Europe. And why does nyt (& even ap etc.) do the same? Have you all in the liberal US media any answer?

Posted by: Radovan, czech republic | October 31, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Upstate New York is not the same as Southwest Virginia, the Florida Panhandle, Louisiana, or other regions of the South. First of all social conservatism and religion plays a greater role. Voters are less forgiving of actions that candidates took years ago and they love the military in the South. Even with the steps she has taken to move her voting record to the middle many Southerners still associate Senator Clinton with her "I don't stay home and bake cookies" comment and Southerners maintain a perception that she is military unfriendly.

On top of her personal negatives, the record of Northern Democratic Party Presidential candidates with voters in the South and West is not good. For a Democrat the list is painful to recall - Kerry, Dukakis, and Mondale - all Northerners who gained no traction in the South or West. The South also does not like voting for the Washington establishment - it mistrusts people already inside the beltway. Tennessee and the rest of the South abandoned Al Gore in part for this reason.

Unfortunately, the Democrats have short memories and are acting more like idealists than realists concerned with winning a 50 state election. The 2008 election is not a popular vote contest, but a state by state contest for electoral votes. For the past two elections the Democrats have fallen in love with candidates connected with the Washington establishment that don't appeal to the South and West. The result is an election map where only the Northeast and California are colored blue. If people don't believe me visit some red sates in the South and West and talk to people. Senator Clinton will face an uphill fight getting the electoral votes she needs in November 2008.

I do agree with a previous poster that the critical analysis of the political writers at the Washington Post is lacking. They seem to repeat the talking points of the major campaigns and lack a historical perspective of politics. I wonder how these people get there jobs. Writing skills is one thing, but if you are going to write about politics you should know something about the history of politics and how politics is playing out across the country, not just in Washington D.C. or population centers like New York.

Posted by: VApolitics | November 1, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Are Edwards and Obama running a joint campaign? The more political pundits look at it, the more real it seems. Firstly, I would like to point out that except Hillary Clinton, no other candidate is taking some time out of their busy campaigns to talk about their policies rather than cheap attacks against one another which only hurts democratic party as a whole. While Edwards is more hawkish and has taken lead with regard to his attacks on Hillary, Obama is taking a more of a wait and watch approach parroting same lines Edwards says, thereby looking like a dove. His two-faced mask would eventually be revealed, however the new strategy evolving out of the two campaigns is to say the least interesting. But the question remains to be seen if combined forces of Edwards and Obama are strong enough to bring the front runner down.

Political pundits are seeing a trend which makes it seem a real possibility. Edwards has given up on talking about his programs or what he stands up for. His bottomline strategy appears simple, if he can be the guy who keeps up the attacks, even though he might lose just a minimal number of supporters (averaging 2% by conservative estimates), he can have a big drawdown on Hillarys lead over Obama. After he ensures enough drawdown, he would expect to join Obama for presidential debate on a vice president ticket yet again and save for presidency for a later day.

It needs to be seen though, if American people especially Iowans can see through the strategy. If they dont see it, then there is a high possibility that Obama will take it all. Edwards fate would then depend on weather Obama selects him to be a running mate, however experts agree that picking Edwards as running mate would substantially increase Obama's appeal to democrats, especially in the south.

Which brings me back to the fundamental question. Is this a real possibility. If it is a possibility, the how can clinton supporters negate it. The politics of pile on are real, be it because of her being front runner or because of her being a woman or both. Either case, the holy than thou politics of "hope" that Obama and Edwards had promised to offer seems to be more and more disingenuous, unless you are one of his young campaign supporter, who really believes in his rhetoric, rather than his record. Obama's pure self obsession and his references to parading himself in same light of MLK is ludicrous and I shall reserve my comment on this topic for another day.

Posted by: chris | November 7, 2007 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Chris, while I do agree that Obama's approach of parroting the same criticism offered by other candidates creates the impression of a follower, I think your criticism of the Senator is a bit harsh, and maybe vile at times. First of all, it is becoming abundantly clear that Edwards and Obama are positioning themselves to run together. It seems these guys share a similar vision of what Washington could be. We hear a lot from both of them about kicking special interest money out of Washington, greater partisanship, and giving power back to the people. I have no doubt, these two really intend on making this happen. How they are going to make that a reality is another question entirely. I don't think he's (Obama) has paraded his self in the same light as MLK, but his campaign has a general platform of social justice.

Posted by: DeWitt | November 7, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Two points.

First, the key to the ratings reported above is that Guiliani (America's Mayor) beats HRC in Upstate NY by a mere 3 percentage points. That is undoutedly within the margin of error. At the same time, Guiliani's advantage of Edwards and Obama is not. The take-away point is this: the people who know HRC the most (i.e., her constituents for the last six years), including the conservative Upstate NY, seem to like her the most. This demonstrates HRC's ability to win over conservative and indepedent voters.

Second, the reason the Post (or any other media organization) focuses on her 60% approval rating in the state has nothing to do with bias and EVERYTHING to do with the manner in which electoral voters are distributed. If they were distributed proportionately, her lack of support in Upstate NY might matter. Since we have a winner-take-all system, the only number that matters is the overall one.

Posted by: pagpag | November 10, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

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